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Animation and Anime

AICN Anime - Ergo Proxy Preview, Le Guin Talks Sci-Fi and Ghibli, Octopus Girl Sickness and More

Logo handmade by Bannister Column by Scott Green

Be site to check out the Anime AICN - Serial Experiments Lain Contest Prizes include: Copies of the anime from Geneon The hardcover edition of the art book Yoshitoshi ABe Lain Illustrations ab# rebuild an omnipresence in wired from Digital Manga Publishing 10" UFO doll Lain in PJs Set of 4 Lain "Limited Edition Collector's Action Dolls" Set of 2 Lain mini-lunchboxes Myth Lain Messenger Bag

Kaiju to Battel In Boston October 20th

Man-in-suit giant monster film meets pro-wrestling Kaiju Big Battel will be celebrating its second season on G4 TV’s Action Blast with Shpadoinkel Mania XVIII, an event that will see the organizations return to Boston's Avalon for the first time in over two years. Taking place on October 20th, Shpadoinkel Mania XVIII promises to be " the biggest Shpadoinkel Mania ever". The event will feature thirty-three blocks of crushable cityscape, 2 Kaiju Jumbotrons, the fan favorite Danger Zone (a Double-Dare-inspired audience participation area), and over thirty Kaiju fighters including favorites, Dr. Cube, Kung-Fu Chicken Noodle, Pedro Plantain, Powa Ranguru and the evil Silver Potato. Japanese horror-core will band Gelatine will be opening the event to set the mood for the "Halloweenish Big Battel". Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster.comand all Ticketmaster locations for $15.25 Schedule of events for Kaiju Big Battel: Shpadoinkel Mania XVIII Pre-fight live music by Gelatine Match 1) Space Invader: Tad Bradley Hawaiian Paddler Vs Giii the Space Pirate Match 2) Tag Team Championship: Apes of Wrath VS Sea Amigos Match 3) Amazon Street Fight: Pedro Plantain VS Silver Potato Match 4) Mystery Match: ? VS ? Main Event) Kaiju Championship: Soup VS Opponent of his Choice! Visit kaiju.com for more info and full descriptions of the match ups.

Anime Preview Ergo Proxy Based on Episode 1 to be released by Geneon November 21, 2006

Ergo Proxy is sci-fi that drops you in the middle of a foreign city without a map. The trouble isn't so much the language, there isn't much jargon at work that isn't obvious, as much it is the culture. Ergo Proxy injects the viewer into the middle of a complex society without much in the way of introduction. Without an obvious high concept, the focus isn't peering into a black box, but the gears on display in the first episode do little to reveal the workings of the full system. An interview between Ergo Proxy writer Dai Sato and Japan Society's Doug McGray featured the following exchange Doug McGray: A lot of critics say anime isn’t political anymore. Not like it was in, say, the 1970s. Dai Data: Hayao Myazaki ["Howl’s Moving Castle" and "Spirited Away"] and Isao Takahata, who did "Grave of the Fireflies," are the central figures at Studio Gibli. They grew up with the student movement. Even as adults, they were involved in communist politics, and had very idealistic values. Mamoru Oshii ["Ghost in the Shell"] was on the tail of that generation, and didn’t grow up in the same environment, but he looked up to their ideals. My generation. . . we’re cynical about these straightforward messages, trying to tell you what is right and wrong. We put social or political messages in our material, but they’re just not as direct. There's ample evidence that Ergo Proxy is going to make is viewer work to piece together both plot and theme. A promising sign is that the premiere episode doesn't just beg the questions of whether the work is actually going to be decipherable and whether it is a thoroughly constructed concept or hollow shell pretensions. The intriguing conundrum comes in that the episode introduces the most familiar vehicle for philosophical discourse within sci-fi, the line between artificial creations and natural human. But, at the same time, it also introduces class issues, particularly regarding immigrants. Whether these two currents will remain distinct, intertwined threads, whether the abstract metaphysical ideas will feed the social commentary or whether the social commentary will be a metaphor for the philosophy remains to be seen. Only a vague notion of what's going on... genre conventions as the clearest immediate guide posts... Name checks and references to key philosophers... Ergo Proxy seems at first glance like an anime sci-fi version of TV's Lost. Except, the rhetoric at work in the episode is immediately provocative. A declaration concerning the value placed on consumption. The bold forthrightness with which an immigrant is told his social role. Or, that the leaders speak through the statues of classical deities. If not for the brittle coldness of the presentation, this aspect who scream social parody. As in Witch Hunter Robin, there is an air of human acting in Shukou Murase's direction, as if he was trying to recreates performances of the characters' roles through his animation. Prominent mannerism calls attention to the effort, making the characters convincing, but also making the viewer conscious of the manipulation. This brand of varnished naturalism offers the ideal tone for Ergo Proxy, creating a world that is simultaneously real and plastic. While not reflecting the barren sterility of some sci-fi, the world of Ergo Proxy seems lifeless. For example, the winding staircase of a super-apartment complex looks used, and isn't over-designed or starkly utilitarian, but to see an unending residential stairwell without signs of humanity is a bit disconcerting. The series lead, a female investigator with a robot "Entourage" companion, is almost goth-like, but with her thin body, white face, and long blue eye shadow the effect is closer to that of a fashion model's assumed minimalism. To speculate a bit based on a small sample, it is as if the fashion and design depicted reflected an accepted blurring between the lines of humanity and technology. As if how the population looked and how they lived was subject to human design, particularly subject to the conscious simplifications of design. Excuse the awful pun, but it is as if the protagonist was wearing iMakeup. A dry matter-of-fact-ness extends to the action animation. The episode does offer some firearms work and a bit of chase, but there the spectacle of fluid animation and precise motion is diffused by a objective bluntness. Quick reactions and shotgun blasts are not represented in a light that would make the action paramount over any other elements of the episode. The seamless integration of what, in live action, would be wire work, or a robot leaping down a staircase and cracking an ankle on impact are presented as elements of a larger framework rather than as the product that the viewer should be waiting for and expecting. Ergo Proxy's opinion of its own intellect is obvious. Given that the thesis of the work is murky at this point, this promise-much approach might warrant caution. However, there are enough hints and assertions of an agenda, to establish Ergo Proxy as one of the most intriguing works in the upcoming slate of anime releases. For those wondering, the preview disc did feature Radiohead's Paranoid Android as the end theme.

Manga Spotlight Octopus Girl Volumes 2 and 3 By Toru Yamazaki Released by Dark Horse Manga

"Octopus Girl" referrs to Takako, a teenage girl whose brutal school life resulted in an amphibious existence, periodically exchanging her cute, if she does say so herself, human body for that of an octopus. She is joined by Sakae, who lives a similar existence, but as the octopus' nemesis, the eel. Yamazaki performs a brilliant trick of misdirection with Octopus Girl, a work of scathing commentary masked as comedy masked as horror. The foundation is horror chapter-short stories that as expected build to a big twist accompanied by a macabre shock. Because Takako and Sakae can get through the events unscathed and undisturbed, the character of gross out and spirit of irony, recasts the stories as comedy. Yamazaki puts an abundance of moving element into the work with his fractured fairy tails and ghost stories. For example, a particular one opens with a child tormenting a sea creature. In turn, the youngster is devoured by Sakae. Events spiral into a send up of the Little Mermaid and Taro Urashima. The narrative goofs on body image issues, while the illustration swings both lowbrow, drawing attention to a hairy mole and huge overbite and unconventional with deep ink and psychedelic distortions. The comedy then sours because the violence is so dehumanizing that it calls the purpose into question. On the level of fiction, because Octopus Girl is not cat and mouse and not a hulking martial artists stalking a wasteland, this manga is not formatted into a concept that is an accepted vehicle for this level of human evisceration. The senseless outcome of mundane interaction doesn't require a particularly sensitive reader to be disturbing. The sharp, barbed point isn’t a matter of justice or injustice, it is that the violence doesn't map to natural point of reference. For example, usually a serial killer is presented as a sort of predator. Here, it is a sort of invented, unnatural phenomenon that doesn't even perversely yield anything for the perpetrator. Spoiler Warning: Octopus Girl becomes uplifting. The format remains an excrement, mucus and guts mutant hybrid of gross out gag manga and shocking horror anthology short work. Yet, the greatest jolt from these volumes comes not from the shit eating, the throat ripped open via broken bottle, or the woman's face profoundly sliced by a kitchen knife. It's that the subtext has evolved, going from spirit crushing to guardedly affirmative. The edge of Octopus Girl's first volume was that beneath its sick sense of dark humor, there was a frightening emptiness. The black void isn't absent in these subsequent volumes, which still exhibited jaw dropping distance for human life. The manga's impulsively superficial protagonists still demonstrate a joyless pursuit for physical and social ideals. The axel of the manga's stories is provided when this pursuit of a normal life is shortened or alerted by the pernicious brutality of similarly driven killers, e.g., jumping on the chase to meet an eager bachelor results in getting locked in a cellar with obsessed spirits, transferring to a bucolic country school results in being sacrificed by satan worshippers. In a bit of post modern recursiveness, the manga seems to accept that its lead will accept the arbitrary terror of events without changing. Takako and Sakea are fairly content chasing fashions and briefly playing roles After the murder of an employer Takako: Farewell boss.. Sakae: Don't cry Takako! Everybody has to die sooner or later! Takako: Oh, Sakae! You're so cold! (Takako does a comedy routine mug for the panel) Takako: But I'm feeling much better already! <3 <3 Sakae: NOW who's the cold one? Takako: But, you know, I'm sick of part-time jobs! Sakae: Same here. The stories of the second and third volumes begin to show a range of ambiguous to certain counter examples. These involve people sacrificing themselves to ugly fates for the sake of the lives or happiness of others. With the oblivious disassociation of the protagonists as a benchmark, the smiling corpse of a man who died for his family is quite touching. This positive side is reinforced by the supplemental "real world" stories. The short, conventional crime/thrillers are detached from the Octopus Girl conceit. Gag manga and horror manga, have a meeting point where the give over a character's depiction to complete emotional expressiveness. Where the face is contorted into a radical shape. Leverage this and pure blood and guts of the violence, when there is sinsciry that is able to balance the sensationalism, the intent is given a deep weight.

Aoi House Volume 1 by by Adam Arnold and Shiei released by Seven Seas

Aoi House is a smart idea well implemented. It's not high brow or high art. Actually, there's plenty that Aoi House isn't, but it is sure to entertain a large contingent of anime/manga fans. A Love Hina style co-inhabitation comedy drama coupled with fandom humor tailored for the North American market establishes a sturdy foundation for a tower of in-jokes. Part of the appeal is bound to be the simple pleasure of seeing one's passion in print, but there are enough clever spins on shared idea that many going into the title with that passion will find that the content offers a diverting experience. Aoi House can easily make an amusing social read, to pass around and point out in-jokes. The work follows a pair of guys thrown out of their dorm for fanboy indulgences, after which, they land at Aoi House, an anime fan residence where they live with five attractive girls who often spend a considerable amount of time wearing only undergarments. Unfortunately, "Aoi House" is "Yaoi House" with a missing Y, so the girls expect their new male co-residence to make out with each other. And if that joke doesn't make sense to you, skip this release. While it follows a shounen romance model, despite t&a, the jokes target both sexes. It attacks both general patterns and specific popular works. Realism isn't the mark that the work is aiming for, and its tone openly acknowledges fanciful nature. With panty stealing hamsters and trout size sea monkeys, it allows itself to get quite silly. Despite the subject matter the way Aoi House plays out is more in line with self-aware parody anime (Excel Saga, or to make a better comparison, Nurse Witch Komugi) than fandom comedy (Genshiken). While older or more serious minded fans might not care for it's direction, for the bulk of fans who attend anime conventions or would like to attend, it offers reason for enthusiasm.

Manga Spotlight: Stellvia Volume 1 by Xebec and Ryo Akizuki Released by DrMaster

Stellvia is a two volume anime-to-manga adaptation of the 26 episode, sci-fi cadet TV series (a follow-up anime fell through). During its Japanese release, the manga ran in the anthology Monthly Comic Dengeki Daioh, a periodical that runs series that would seem to be aimed at female audiences, but are in fact tailored to and read by male audiences. Examples include Kiyohiko Azuma's Azumanga Daioh and Yotsuba&!, Ichigi/Stawberry Marshmellow, Kasimasi ~Girl Meets Girl~, Di Gi Charat, Figure 17, Kamichu. Though its audience is slight more obvious, Gunslinger Girls can be put into this list of works with female protagonists. Relationship stories like To Heart, Comics Party, Onegai Teacher and Onegai twins feature more male leads, but like the previous works, are male targeted works despite what a first glance would suggest. That manga abridges the anime, and having previously seen the original, delineating whether or not the Stellvia manga would be coherent as a first exposure is difficult. Despite a hefty cast, the issue isn't tracking who's who, or missing the concepts introduced for the work. Actually, what is lost most in the transition is pacing. In this implementation, the length of the scene depends on how well the moment lends itself to manga. Visual demonstration of abilities receive little space while mundane conversation or simple sight gags are fully played out. The manga effectively conveys personalities, but is week on establishing the mechanics of the depicted setting. Stellvia is set four hundred years in the future. Half way between now and then, civilization was almost wiped out by the shockwave from a star going super nova. The titular Earth-orbiting space academy is training its cadets to work in space, but also preparing for a second shock wave. Shima Katase or "Shipon" is a wide-eyed (literally in her depictions) young teen with dreams of seeing space of its own terms. Her genius programming skills and staggering inability as a pilot would suggest that she would be better suited for a support rather than field position in space, but thanks to her dedication and the help of classmates, she begins ascending within the framework of the academy. The conceptual points of the sci-fi aren't as prevalent in the manga as they were in the anime, but the charm still transcends the fact that it faithfully maps to traditional story outlines. Koji Aihara and Kentaro Takekuma's Even a Monkey Can Draw Manga goes through a number of genres and dissects the patterns of each. Stellvia doesn't follow a school formula, but is an exact match of the kind of series that follows a worker from hiring through his corporate ascent. Starting with Shipon’s gravity jump trip from Earth to Stellvia where she bonds with a random old man who is later revealed to be the principal of the academy, through the introduction of peers and rivals, the dynamic and latter of events resemble those of an occupational story. Ryo Akitsuki gives the work a new spin on its charm. Though not quite as minimalist, the solid lines and use of space give the Stellvia look reminiscent of Minoru Toyoda's Love Roma. While it treads the line close to situation comedy, there is enough personality on Akitsuki’s depiction that the characters do become endearing.

Manga Spotlight Project X 240Z Challengers by Akira Yokoyama Released by Digital Manga Publishing

While anime has targeted younger audiences and genre fans, traditionally, manga has offered works for a larger array of niche interests. The Project X series are examples of business manga, a genre that has not received much English-language exposure. The single volume stories provide inspirational case studies of innovative projects whose successes changed the projects' market. After reading one, you're supposed to be jazzed about your white collar job, and fired up for success. But, even if that particular goal doesn't seem plausible, despite some story telling quarks, Project X does offer an engaging look at process and the interaction between people who have shaped the commercial and the market in which they worked. 240Z follows how Yutaka Kayatama, president of Nissan USA and automotive designer Yoshihiko Matsuo came to introduce the Nissan Fairlady Z to the American market, and more importantly, how they were able to make the affordable sports car a success. Their story captures Nissan's progression from the post war market of consumer auto-mobiles to the Fairlady Z's significance as a foothold for Japan's competitive stance in the international market of project design. Japan's metamorphosis from being synonymous with inferior products to the home of powerhouse brands is cliché at this point, but 240Z gets into the details of the plans and execution that made the change happen. Tracking the advent of public relations, and the multi-step process needed to prepare the American market for the specific product, the hard work and inspiration drama of corporate problem solving becomes a fascinating lesson. The opening chapters of the volume construct a compelling abstract: America whose high way system made it the "the land with the progressive motorization in the world" was an untapped opportunity for Japan's growing industrial base. However, Japan's corporations were still geered for post war reconstruction, and hadn't determined a process for selling to a consumer public. Without even a well defined strategy for selling its own mark, to crack America's Nissan had to establish a reputation, build the product people would want to buy, and create the markets for those products. Akira Yokoyama brings subject knowledge to the work and emphasizes the product design decisions bearing on the stored. The true shape and aesthetics are captured in the illustration and enforced with an appendix with photographs of design progression of the car. Beyond the problem solving, from a drama standpoint, the manga finds human interest material in the friction between foresight and the established precedence. The corporate culture that was looks to hammer down the nails that stuck out, comes down hard on the noisy individuals who would later be revealed as innovators and visionaries. In additional to illustrating a method by which a design can be utilized to make a product a success, 240z emphasizes sticking with a good idea and making it work. The problem reading the work is that it oversells the case. It is a heliography that lionizes subjects whose success can speak for itself. The narrative does not balance the fact it is dealing with winners after the subject had been settled and selecting out who was right decades after the fact. The searing spotlight and the grandiosity of the language over-inflates a work that could have been carried by plainly tying the efforts to the results. While a based on a true story movie might conclude with commentary to puff out the greatness of its subject, 240Z runs that brand of commentary throughout. The illustration offers similar problems. While the mundane is generally handled well, when the focal characters have to deal with other people, the presentations seem to become caricature tableaus. This is especially true of meeting with unnamed Americans who act like they are pantomiming ideas. When the illustration doesn't depict matters in a straight fashion, the results are often hokey. Comic book expressionism such as an upward shot at the faces of engineers set against a blackened, lightning fill sky used to present the discovery of a design flaw, or a character upside down displayed in from of the blackened faces of the corporate structure ignoring him, don't fit the even keeled plainness of the general visual tone.

Dai Mahou Touge Raw and Free

AnimeNation reports the third Dai Mahou Touge OVA, containing stories 5 & 6, is now available for free streaming viewing on Japanese media site through October 23rd. Dai Mahou Touge is brilliantly warped parody of magic girl anime, featuring a princess from a magical kingdom, who cracks her opponents with vicious jujitsu.

Le Guin Talks Sci-Fi and Ghibli

ICV2 report Ursula K. Le Guin was interviewed by Charles Solomon, and took the opportunity to reiterate that the U.S. release of Goro Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli adaptation Tales From Earthsea could be delayed until 2009 "as long as the Sci-Fi Channel people sit on their rights, which they have until '09". As Le Guin put it, the film will not be released in North America until Sci Fi Channel decides to "to stop being a dog in the manger."

International Release for New Giant Robo

Anime News Service reports the new anime follow-up to retro-mecha opera Giant Robo will Review an overseas release in primary English language markets. Planning has already begun, with the official site www.gr-anime.com offline as of this posting to incorporate a new English language version. Information for the work is online at www.gr-anime.com

Witchblade Re-Animated

AnimeNation points out Japanese fan blog Shigerog mk-II has posted extensive screenshots comparing the Japanese DVD version of Witchblade episode 9 to its original television broadcast version. A scene of the busty title character drinking was extensively redrawn to improve the design.

Tomino Talks Zeta Movie

Gunota has posted details from Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino's Q and A at the North American premieres of the newly produced Zeta Gundam movies here These movies edit and partially re-animate the Zeta Gundam TV series into three movies. Tomino implications of the altered Zeta Gundam ending on sequel series Double Zeta, the ambiguous fates of characters, why the movies relied on reusing older footage and his creative control. He also talks about the franchise in general, such as his view on Gundam series that do not follow the mainline, Universal Gundam continuity. Gunota also points out new "MS series jean" here. While both the nonwashed (15,750 yen) & washed (26,250 yen) versions feature Zeon insignia buttons, a Zaku patch, and a monoeye design on the back, the latter also comes with "Sieg Zeon!" print and have been damage-treated with real laser beams

Game News

The Magic Box reports has a preview of Sega's Hotako no Ken/Fist of the North Star, a 2D fighting for the Playstation 2, ported from the Atomiswave arcade game, is online here Naruto: Konoha Spirits for the Playstation 2 can be seen here

English Black Cat Trailer

A trailer for FUNimation's release of the anime adaotion assasin action Black Cat is online here. The original manga is released in English by Viz.

Subtitled Monster Anime Release

Anime News Network reports that the Singaporean Region 3 DVD release of a three disc collection of the first season of Monster will feature English subtitles. The anime, which adapts Naoki Urasawa's ethics thriller, is no licensed for release in North America. The collection return for US$25.

Joe Hisaishi Updates Sites

Ghibli World reports Joe Hisaishi, compuser for the the Ghibli/Hayao Miyazaki movies has updated his at www.joehisaishi.com

Nodame Cantabile Cafe Opens

Continuing the proliferation of Japanese theme cafes, MangaNews reports a cafe on the award winning conservatory drama.comedy Nodame Cantabile has spawned a cafe in Harajuku, Tokyo. The cafe openned in conjunction with the premiere of the live action TV drama adapation of the manga. Specials include "Nodame Cream Stew" and "Mae Vinegar Toro-don" .

Saiyuki Reload on Encore Action

Anime News Network reports that Saiyuki Reload, the sequel series to the pop retelling of The Journey to the West, will be airing on Encore Action starting November 8th at midnight.

Figures News

Figures.com reports Organic Hobby with be releasing a 1/8th scale statue based on Masamume Shirow's Intron Depot 3 (Ballistics) in North America. The figure can be seen here A 1/8th PVC statue of Amy from Burst Angel can be seen here

Navarre to Distribute FMA Games

Navarre Corporation has signed an exclusive distribution agreement to distribute four new console games based on FUNimation's ever popular Fullmetal Alchemist series published by Destineer for the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP platforms. The first of these new releases, "Fullmetal Alchemist: Dual Sympathy" is scheduled to be in stores in October, 2006, with a retail price of $29.99.

Anime Network Inks Three New SVOD Carriage Deals

Anime Network has announced three new carriage deals for its popular subscription-based video-on-demand (SVOD) service. Anime Channel is set for SVOD launches throughout the Insight Communications and RCN systems, as well as Cogeco Cable Inc.’s Ontario systems in the coming weeks. Anime Network’s current SVOD launch schedule for each MSO is as follows: * Insight Communications – September kick-off of three-stage system rollout * RCN – October system-wide launch * Cogeco Cable Inc. – November Ontario systems launch

Del Rey News from Manga Next

From Anime News Network's report on the MangaNext manga convention. In addition to the new license of the Chevalier D'Eon manga adaptation of Production I.G's (Ghost in the Shell) anime series, Del Rey will be releasing Kitchen Princess, Mamotte Lollipop!, and Shugo Chara. Shugo Chara, by Peach-Pit (DearS, Rozen Maiden). Del Rey will likely, eventually be publishing the Genshiken fanbook and the Kujibiki Unbalance spin-off manga. Del Rey will unveil its first several original (non-licensed) comics at 2007 New York ComicCon Dark Horse's Carl Horn mentioned that Del Rey will be releasing an encyclopedia covering every manga that has been published in English.

Views

Oliver Coombes has posted the completion of his thesis on Isao Takahata's Studio Ghibli film Pom Poko here The greatest must read piece to come along in a while is Dirk Deppey's examination of fan translated manga scanlations here Irresponsible Pictures get entertaining and informative with a run down of anime airing on Japanese TV this fall here.
From MangaBlog MangaCast talks to Tania Del Rio, whose projects include Mangaka America, Archie's Sabrina the Teenage Witch and possible kitting work. Del Rio herself has written written and drawn here impressions of the MangaNEXT convention. Kethylia Duuk'Tarquith has posted a lengthy piece with her impression of MangaNEXT here ChunHyang runs down vampire manga here A collection of manga editor's favorite manga is online here In the upcoming Mangaka America book's spawned a first generation of American manga-ka (manga creator), which lead to a trace of American manga lineage, which is blown out to its greatest detail in Andre's blog post. June Kim talks, a 12 Days OEL/Global manga about a woman who mourns her lover's death by drinking his ashes in smoothies at Newsarama here Queenie Chan talks the Dreaming here

Studio 4°C: Amazing Nuts

From Twitch and Catsuka, Studio 4°C's DVD music video collection Amazing Nuts will be released in Japan with a barebones DVD / CD combo releasing December 5th, then the Normal Edition and Limited Edition DVDs on December 19th. Packaged works include Takashi Yamashita / RAM RIDER Daisuke Nakayama / M-flo Yasuhiro Aoki / Koda Kumi 4°Farenheit / Mink

Shin-chan-ism Results

Anime News Network reports FUNimation has posted the results of their top-five quote survey, featuring like from the vuglar pre-schooler Crayon Shin-chan on YouTube here

Fast Food Grifters in Canada

After its North American premiere in Vancouver and its second European screening at Sitges 06, Mamoru Oshii's Tachigui: The Amazing Lives of the Fast Food Grifters (original title: Tachiguishi Retsuden, 2006, 104') will be back to Canada for the 35th Festival du Nouveau Cinema deMontreal (FNC). Screening schedule: Date: October 22, 2006 (Sun) Time: 01:15 am Place: Ex-Centris, Fellini Theater (3536 Boul. Saint Laurent) Date: October 23rd (Mon) Time: 03:55 pm Tachigui: The Amazing Lives of the Fast Food Grifters retells Japan's history from 1945 to our days through the feats of self-proclaimed dine and dash professionals ?the Fast Food Grifters. They are phantoms that rise and fall with Japan’s shifting diet styles, dissenting heroes who carved their names on the dark side of dietary culture with their glare. And now their legend revives, strong than ever! The movie, in a mockumentary style, has received particular attention for the revolutionary visual technique adopted, called "superlivemation," in which real people still photos are first digitalized and then computer-animated. The extraordinary cast includes Toshio Suzuki (Studio Ghibli’s producer), Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex director), Shoji Kawamori (Macross and Aquarion director), and Shinji Higuchi (Lorelei and Japan Sinking director). The music score is written by Oshii’s most trusted composer, Kenji Kawai (Ghost in the Shell, Innocence), who is also playing a role in the movie.

DrMaster News

DrMaster Publications Inc. and DGN Production Inc. launched a free 25 page preview/prequel of their upcoming kung fu extravaganza - Chinese Hero – Tales of The Blood Sword by Wing Shing Ma (Storm Riders) online www.drmasterbooks.com at here The tales of Blood Sword begin here: As a child Hero’s family was attacked and killed by a practitioner of Northern Mantis kung fu. This assassin was tasked, by the affluent head of a local triad, to retrieve Hero’s family heirloom – the legendary Blood Sword. Barely escaping with his life, Hero has now reached adulthood. He’s mastered several forms of kung fu to aid him in his one lifelong endeavor…to safeguard the family treasure. But now his enemies turn their gaze to his newborn son. The tales of Blood Sword begin here. One of the most intricately woven action adventure stories ever told returns, completely remastered and digitally rendered. Artistry wizard Wing Shing Ma's (Storm Riders) meticulous illustrations erupt with mind-bending kung fu action, nearly identical to the best Hong Kong action sequences. Chinese Hero – Tales of The Blood Sword #1 ships in February 2007. Each full-color, 256-page graphic novel will be priced at $19.95 for SC and Limited Edition pricing: TBA. Visit www.drmasterbooks.com for more detailed series information. DrMaster's other upcoming releases include: Iron Wok Jan volume 23, to ship in February 2007 SNK VS CAPCOM SVC CHAOS, volume 1, 2nd printing, to ship in January 2007

CPM Discontinued Titles

According to Anime on DVD, Central Park Media has discontinued the following releases Legend of the Dragon Kings: Under Fire Legend of the Dragon Kings: Under Fire/Black Dragon 2-Pack Legend of the Dragon Kings: Red Dragon Legend of the Dragon Kings: Iron Dragon Legend of the Dragon Kings: White Dragon Legend of the Dragon Kings: Blue Dragon Legend of the Dragon Kings DVD Collection Birdy the Mighty: Double Trouble Birdy the Mighty: Final Force Virgin Fleet Harlock Saga Agent Aika: Naked Missions Agent Aika: Final Battle Labyrinth of Flames Hyper Speed GranDoll The Dimension Travelers (Live-Action)

Craig O'Connor Joins Westlake as National Sales Manager

Entertainment Inc., the independent home entertainment distribution company, announced today the addition of Craig O¹Connor, formerly of ADV Films, as National Sales Manager. This strategic placement is a key component in Westlake¹s aggressive repositioning in the marketplace to release first-run features, including theatrical, new title and anime genre product. O¹Connor¹s position with Westlake begins immediately.

TAN Premieres

The Anime Network will begin showing the first episode of PaniPoni Dash through Video On Demand starting November 30th, before its December 5th DVD release. Guyver will premiere on October 26th, before its November 14th DVD release

ADV Collections

Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu Complete Collection Scheduled for December 12! Directed by Kouichi Chigara (Gate Keepers, Phantom Quest Corps), Full Metal Panic? FUMOFFU reintroduces anime’s favorite odd couple: the popular (if fiery) Kaname, and Sosuke, the teenaged commando sworn to protect her – from high school? Sosuke has a little trouble telling friend from foe, but you can count on Kaname to set him straight! FUMOFFU features loads of slapstick humor, leavened by romantic misunderstandings and the occasional round of gunfire. Synopsis: Sousuke and Kaname are back in action! And this time, the battleground is the school ground! High-yield explosives and hilarity come together with a bang, as the somber soldier and his unwitting target brave everything from lovesick “terrorists” to an unforgiving teacher who is bent on revenge. But as good as he is with guns, Sousuke is one clueless commando when it comes to girls – especially Kaname! Don’t miss the hilarious antics of everyone’s favorite military maniac and Jin High’s most fiery female! Full Metal Panic? FUMOFFU Complete Collection (SRP $49.98 DVD) is a thin-packed DVD-only release including all 12 episodes, presented in both English 5.1 and Japanese 2.0 with English subtitles.
Shinobi Complete Collection (Live action) Scheduled for December 12 Shinobi is the epic tale of two friends who defy the rigid ninja code and soon find themselves on the run from the clan they’ve rejected. Featuring furious martial arts and sword-play that will leave you breathless, Shinobi is directed by martial arts action guru Kenji Tanigaki (The Princess Blade, Blade II). Synopsis: In the world of the Ninja, skills as a fighter play only a small role in determining one’s rank among the order of Shinobi. Kageru is from the village of Shiroyama. He is strong, fast and extremely intelligent – the best in his class. But therein lies the problem; for Kageru’s birth predestines him to the lower class of Shinobi. His friend Aoi finds herself in the same situation, and together they will be forced to question not only themselves, but also some of the most sacred edicts of the Shinobi hierarchy. They must choose between their mission and their lives, and between their destinies and the Law of Shinobi. Kagerou and Aoi soon become fugitives, pursued by the Shinobi of Shiroyama, and assassins hailing from all the families of Iga. The chase is on. Kagerou and Aoi are left to search for both the sincerity of their allegiances as well as asylum from their hunters. Such are their lives as Runaways. Shinobi Complete Collection (SRP $29.98 DVD) is a Letterboxed DVD-only release all four movies, presented in both English 5.1 and Japanese 2.0 with English subtitles.
E’S Otherwise Complete Collection Scheduled for December 12 A psychically charged, high-energy adventure focused around the future of human evolution and its possible consequences, E’S Otherwise is based on the hit comic series that original appeared in G Fantasy Monthly. The spectacular, state of the art animation was directed by Masami Shimoda (Macross 7, Saber Marionette J) and produced by Studio Pierrot (Saiyuki, Naruto). Synopsis: In the near future, the planet is run by a federation of twelve powerful corporations. Amid the general populous, are psychics—metahumans capable of converting thought into energy. People with these mutant abilities are known as “E’s”, outcasts with the power to control the world, or to save it. Kai awakes in Ashurum, a military contractor that has put together an elite special forces team of E’s called AESES to bring about law and order. But when Kai is sent to wipe out an anti-corporate guerilla outfit from the slum town Gald, he discovers not all is as it seems. E’s Otherwise Complete Collection (SRP $59.98 DVD) is a DVD-only release including all 26 episodes, presented in both English 5.1 and Japanese 2.0 with English subtitles.

Non-Anime Animation

After 5 years of solo work Phil Nibbelink's (An American Tail: Fievel Goes West) Romeo & Juliet: Sealed with a Kiss will be screened in 10 LA theatres on OCTOBER 27, 2006 before it expands nationwide. If for no other reason, the magnitude of the accomplishment makes the animated film a must see. Twitch points out that the beautifully animated Kirikou And The Wild Beasts will be released in Canada on DVD November 14th. See here for more. The Beat Toronto based independent animation company Kahani World, Inc. and Richard Branson’s Virgin Comics, LLC have teamed up to co-produce Secrets of the Seven Sounds, a full length animated feature for kids 7 and up, inspired by the ancient Indian myth Ramayana. The animated feature will be brought to market in the summer of 2007.Production will begin in seven weeks. Over at the TCJ board, Danny Hellman posts what is purported to be a preview of the Drinky Crow cartoon pilot (from Tony Millionaire's Maakies). Also from the Beat, an alert to the financial woes of Illuminatus Trilogy co-creator Robert Anton Wilson.

For more commentary see the AICN Anime MySpace

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 18, 2006, 12:50 a.m. CST

    Sporty spice coughed up a hairball.

    by Orionsangels

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enGv9CLymcY

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 1:11 a.m. CST

    octopus girl looks pretty good

    by team america

    I only recently found out that Dark Horse has been publishing lots of horror manga, and I've been seeking them out since then. Kazuo Umezu's books are especially nice. I'll have to check this one out.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 7:32 a.m. CST

    "To be a man you must have honor...."

    by trashcanman345

    "...honor and a penis"- Shin-chan Funny show!

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 8:56 a.m. CST

    Stop!! Grammar Time!!

    by godoffireinhell

    Dude, your reviews aren't bad and you seem like an intelligent guy but they are so full of grammar and spelling mistakes that it's painful to read them. Just because you're reviewing anime doesn't mean you have to do it as if you're suffering from ADD. Use spell check and maybe read the reviews yourself once before posting them. Thanks.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 11:35 a.m. CST

    Have to agree with godoffireinhell this time...

    by Johnno

    Just a few nitpicks on sentence structure, but I guess I'm in that mood after writing a psychology essay this morning... then again I'm one to talk... heck, my posts all over AICN contain numerous spelling errors... I JUST CAN'T TYPE!!!! Speaking of Ergo Proxy... seen it all, and it's pretty good, except that I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the ending... The last few episodes contained what could be called some cool 'stand Alone Complex' stories that later come into play, but then suddenyl they're approaching the city when WHAM! The Finale begins right outta nowhere and I'm left stumbling to catch up... I swear, it's like there's 3 episodes worth missing from the end from what looked like a 26 ep run... They run out of budget and rushed the ending to keep the quality of the show or what? Also that witchblade clean-up job was interesting, wish more companies put more effort into that for DVD releases, and I'm looking at you GONZO! Anyway... that Studio 4C Music vid thing looks interesting..

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:42 p.m. CST

    Ergo Proxy is trippy

    by v1cious

    the first few episodes aren't any real representation of the actual show.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 10:32 a.m. CST

    I'm convinced...

    by veritasses

    that Japan has the largest number of warped minds of any country that have ever committed their far-out, weird, gross, obscene ideas to some form of media. You'd never suspect it if you just observed their society on the surface level, but you dig around a little bit and there's lots of stuff you're going to see that makes you say "wtf?" I can watch Hollywood horror movies with a yawn but I read just a few pages of some crazy freaky Japanese manga and I feel like throwing up. Though I must admit that there's an obvious level of quality and thought behind the presentation of this stuff that you wouldn't expect given the genre. Re: Gedo Senki. Will the board members over at Universal/NBC please fire the idiots running the SciFi network? It's a tough call but I think that there are actually more bad decisions coming out of that place that have PO'd their audience then over at the Cartoon Network. Re: Witchblade Re-Animated. That story speaks volumes about the Japanese and is just so amazingly humorous on so many levels. There's the Otaku (who else but...) who figured it out, the creative director guy (who else but...) who ordered the re-work, the animator who was probably thinking "wtf?" as he's trying to "improve" the new designs, the middle management committee (half of them themselves probably thinking "wtf" as they just go along with the orders from up top) that OK'd the budget and the new designs, the hordes of new Otaku who'll probably go out now to buy the dvd.... Re: Grammar and Spelling. I'm going to side with Scott here. Considering that he finds, reads, watches, thinks about and reviews/comments on enough material to create a magazine all on his own, and considering that you aren't going to find people with as much knowledge and exposure to manga/anime as Scott and that most of the collective content isn't something you can find anywhere else I think a little leeway would be nice. And yes, while it might seem that a pass with a word processor would be an easy way to fix the spelling, when you stop to consider that there are already so many words in each column that are going to be flagged simply because the word is a Japanese name/word, I can see that it would be easy to miss a few misspelled English words in the sea of flagged Japanese words. Most people hire an editor with an English/journalism degree for the types of things you're asking him to do.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Concerning Gedo Senki...

    by Johnno

    SUcks that Sci-Fi is likely to just sit on them... Maybe Disney/Miramax could fire out some kind of deal even if it isn't Miyazaki Sr. it's still Ghibli! I'd call, but I'm here in Canada, where we don't get sci-fi, I think... so it's hopeful that we might still get it in theatres in original Japanese and subtitled... thoguh knowing this place we're probably going to rely on the American release anyway...